‘Demonstration of police power’

Curfew strictly enforced

17 August 2020 | Police

Three police vehicles arrived at the Lifestyle SuperSpar at Maerua Mall on Thursday evening shortly after 17:00. “The next minute the team was standing in the shop saying it had to close immediately, so that the employees could be home by 20:00,” operations manager Otto Alfeld told Allgemeine Zeitung after the incident.
The police officers, armed with amongst others AK-47 assault rifles, marched into the store and told customers to complete their purchases. In Alfeld’s office, a sergeant who refused to identify himself, had told him that all shops must close at 17:00.
This incident occurred after curfew measures came into effect on Thursday last week. In the meantime, arrangements have been made that the supermarket remains open until 19:00.
“The public needs to use their common sense and stay home during the curfew. Your work and errands must be done before the curfew begins,” chief of police Sebastian Ndeitunga said in the capital, calling on the public to adhere to lockdown regulations.
He warned residents of Windhoek, Okahandja, Rehoboth, Swakopmund, Walvis Bay and Arandis that they may be arrested, fined N$2 000 or both if they are caught outside their homes between 20:00 and 05:00.
After the curfew came into force, Ndeitunga’s demands were rigorously enforced by numerous security forces in the Windhoek. Several video recordings were circulated on social media, showing police officers arresting people on that first evening. In addition, some footage showed police vehicles patrolling the capital and warning the public via loudspeakers to stay at home.
At the coast, police were more lenient. “We are not here to arrest and convict everyone,” said the police commander of the Erongo region, Andreas Nelumbo. He called on his colleagues not to make an arrest unless residents refuse to obey the curfew.

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